Talent Innovation Fund

The Mind Trust’s Talent Innovation Fund awards funding to local schools, districts, networks, and organizations to support innovative strategies that focus on recruitment and growing the number of teachers with certifications and licensure that can support student learning. 

An opportunity for creative problem-solvers

Indianapolis K-12 teachers have a big impact on student success. A well-trained teacher is likely to send more students to college and can boost a student’s lifetime income. Recruiting and retaining great teachers is a challenge for districts across the country. 

To address the critical need for great teachers in Indianapolis, The Mind Trust’s Talent Innovation Fund supports local ideas designed to attract and retain talented educators in Indianapolis schools. Ultimately, work funded by the Talent Innovation Fund should grow the number of talented educators who are positively impacting academic achievement for Indianapolis students.

Talent Innovation Fund awards are focused on: 

  • Teacher recruitment 
  • Teacher licensure and certification (Ex: Special Education licenses, ELL Certification, CTE/Gifted and Talented Certifications, Science of Reading) 

Applicants may be from an individual school or from a local district, school network (Indianapolis Public Schools, IPS Innovation Network Schools, or charter schools within Center Township), or organization that serves K-12 students. 

Application & selection

The application is now closed. Click here to see a PDF version of questions asked on the 2022 application.

Click here to see the award process and rubric for the most recent round of awards. Funding may be renewed based on recipients meeting initial application goals.

What we look for in a proposal

For the 2022-2023 Talent Innovation Fund application cycle, The Mind Trust considered the following in a funding proposal: 

  • Clear connection to improving student proficiency
  • Clear plan for how staff will collect data, including student pre- and post-program proficiency data to measure effectiveness
  • Plans for how the proposed project will lead to an increase in retention of high-quality, diverse staff
  • An instructional staff selection process that: identifies the teachers that are high-quality and measures mindset towards increasing student proficiency
  • Evidence that shows how funding is uniquely significant and/or above and beyond current funding received
  • Metrics for how teacher quality will be assessed if proposals include funding towards recognition and/or rewards
  • Identified staff who have the capacity to lead the work OR a partner who has time, capacity and skill to lead the work 

Meet the 2022-2023 award recipients

Christel House Indianapolis
Enlace Academy
Paramount Schools of Excellence
Purdue Polytechnic High Schools
Shepherd Community Center

Meet the 2021-2022 award recipients

Adelante Schools
Educate ME Foundation
KIPP Indy Public Schools
Paramount Schools of Excellence
Purdue Polytechnic High Schools
Tindley Summit Academy
Peace Learning Center

Meet the 2020–21 award recipients

Educate ME Foundation, Inc.
Indianapolis Public Schools
Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63
Promise Prep
Tindley Summit Academy

Get a detailed overview of how the project proposal process works and what we do to evaluate applications.